Thursday, May 7, 2009

spring update

So, I lied again. Not on purpose, though. My professor persuaded me not to give up on Vietnamese lessons, and so I didn't. I feel like I haven't been learning as much as I could. I've been busy with work, traveling, going out with friends, and teaching, among other things, that I haven't been studying Vietnamese as much as I should. I'm considering re-taking Viet 1 and Viet 2 during the summer, and really putting an effort into it. I put a lot of effort into Viet 1, that it almost seems a waste what happened to me with Viet 2. I really want to learn this language. It's hard stuff, but it's almost like a challenge I want to overcome. Never mind being able to speak fluently, I'll be content with being able to read/write and understand people in conversation. I figure if I ever end up visiting Vietnam, I can carry a notepad around in case someone doesn't understand what I'm saying. Silly, I know.

For a long time now, I've been following Azrael's blog GaijinSmash. It's a very entertaining blog, about an American living in Japan. He started out teaching English, and is now married and "officially" living out there, etc (I'm not very good at summarizing, so I suggest you go read some posts to get a better idea). Anyway, recently I've found sorta similar blogs, but of Americans living in Vietnam, posting about their experiences and stuff. I don't know if that kinda stuff interests you, but if it does, check out Living in Saigon, Vietnam and Lisa's Live Journal. Very interesting blogs. Just thought I'd share.

Recently, I got into salsa dancing again. My instructor and friend (Nick) started teaching at his house again, and now has a decent group of nice (and consistent!) people that want to learn. I've gotten to know most of them, and they're all good people. I've gone to salsa clubs with them (as a group), attended birthday parties (fun!), and just had a blast on Saturday's lessons, which usually go from 11am to like 3pm, sometimes followed with everyone going out to lunch. I've gotten to improve on my salsa dancing at the same time, which is great. I'm still like 1/16 of what Nick is, and I'm cool with that. I just need to know "enough", at least for now. :-)

As for my teaching, I still teach English at the Vietnamese Community Center, and salsa dancing at the elementary school on Fridays. The salsa class has had its ups and downs. Sometimes the kids are really into it, and sometimes they just want to run around and not really pay attention. I continually pray so that God gives me the patience I need to teach them, hehe. I don't remember if I've mentioned it yet, but all my salsa dancing students are Hispanic. One thing I noticed about them is that they prefer to speak English as opposed to Spanish. At first I didn't think much of it, but after talking to some of them, I learned that they simply know (a lot) more English than Spanish. So naturally, I decided to talk to them only in Spanish, and force them to talk to me in Spanish as well (they try to sneak English in there sometimes). It feels nice when they ask how to say a certain word, or when I get to correct them on their verb conjugations or whatever. Overall, I'm very happy with them (except when they go nuts running around in class, haha), and hope I can continue to teach them in the future.

Other than that, I've gotten to do other cool things in these past few months. In March, I spent two weeks in Florida for work. It was awesome, for the most part. I got to see my mom again and spend time with her (she flew from PR). I've been to San Jose a few times, and going there again next week. Work is going good.

I also got to participate in another event with the Vietnamese. This time it was during "International Week" at Tarrant County College in Hurst, TX. We sang the Vietnamese anthem, one girl played a Vietnamese instrument (don't know the name), which was cool, and then we did a little 'fashion' thingy, which consisted of us walking on stage with ao dais. I got to take some pictures with the girls (in ao dai), which was cool. Maybe I'll post some later if they don't mind.

Last week I got promoted at work. The bosses gave me a good scare - they played it as if they were going to fire me, by calling me to their office and being all serious and stuff. It was well played on their part, haha. But anyway, I'm now a Software Engineer II, yay!

Finally, I'm going to Puerto Rico in two weeks, God willing. I'm excited! I haven't been back to the island in almost a year now. I miss my peoples, the food, the weather, everything! Can't wait! Some friends are also going, and we'll be doing some sightseeing around the island. Lots of food and salsa dancing will be happening as well. =)

Hopefully my next post will happen sometime before December.

1 comment:

  1. The Ao dais outfit is pretty cute =)
    Good to hear your alive and well, kuddos on the promotion!!!!1